In an upset over Labor Day weekend, the Trinity women’s soccer team lost to Chris Newport University in their first game of the season. The game, which took place at the Atlantic Orthopaedic Tournament in Virginia Beach, Virginia, saw a 0-0 draw through two halves and the first overtime. In double overtime, the CNU Captains scored, claiming victory over the No.5-ranked Tigers.
“It was an unlucky goal,” said Jordan Bethea, senior defender. “A series of unfortunate mistakes. It’s never just one thing that leads to a goal.”
The Tigers could very well see the Captains later on in the postseason, as CNU was a tough team that presented a challenge to the typically formidable Tigers.
“They were very physical, very tournament-worthy,” Bethea said. “It’s better to lose now than in conference — not that we ever want to lose.”
Hannah Booher, senior midfielder, echoed Bethea’s sentiment.
“We worked hard the whole game and had our opportunities and we could have won. It’s just especially hard when you know that you did everything you needed to and it just didn’t come through for you,” Booher said. “It can show you where your weaknesses are and we know that we are motivated to work on those weaknesses.”
“It wasn’t a very pretty game, but we wanted it more, especially after losing,” said Chelsea Cole, junior midfielder.
Near the end of the first half, VWU earned a free kick, which they translated into a goal. However, thanks to a strong Tiger defense and senior goalkeeper Kalli Douma, the Tigers ended the game with victory after a scoreless second half.
“We possessed the ball more in the second game,” Bethea said.
Players attributed the victory to a more aggressive approach to the game as well as a heightened desire to win.
“It was more of a mindset,” Cole said.
The next day marked the home opener for women’s soccer, as the Tigers faced off against the Sul Ross State Lobos for a Labor Day matchup. Within nine minutes of taking the field, the Tigers had six shots on the board and succeeded in raising the score to 1-0 with a goal from junior forward Halleanne Dure, assisted by Camp.
“We had the goal of being ruthless, so in a sense we gave them a hard time across the field. As a team we were determined to work for a win,” Dure said. “Following through on the original shot on goal, and always striving to make sure that the ball goes dead.”
This past weekend, the Tigers again returned to the pitch to face the Aurora University Spartans. The game was dominated by Tiger offensive control. Trinity delivered a series of beautiful goals, beginning with Bethea’s game-winner 16 minutes into the first half.
“Whenever you get a pretty early goal, any goal in the first half, it’s kind of crushing to the other team cause you know they have this uphill battle to go through now,” Booher said.
The first half continued with two goals from Booher, with assists from Dure and Markey.
“It’s like hitting them in the mouth and then knocking them down. You just can’t get back up from that,” Booher said.
Markey continued to shine in the second half, giving the Tigers a 4-0 lead by tricking the goalkeeper out of the box and scoring on an open goal. Senior midfielder Julia Kelly headed a free kick into the net with an assist from Booher, bringing the score to 5-0.
“I think we go in with the same offensive strategy every game, no matter who we’re playing. We know what we can do well, we can pass the ball, we can play with each other and we can make connections well and that’s how we work our way to the goal,” Booher said.
Despite having a clear victory, the Tigers continued to take shots, and in the 80th minute of play Dure scored on an assist from junior forward and midfielder Katie Peth.
“The game is not over until the final buzzer. As a team and individually we are very determined to show our opponents who we are and how we play, so that goes until the final buzzer,” Dure said. “Katie Peth assisted me on the goal and she did a great job of finding my feet and the gap between the defenders.”
The game also marked head coach Dylan Harrison’s 100th career win as a collegiate head coach. The Trinity soccer alum was presented with a commemorative game ball by Bob King, director of athletics.
“We all signed a ball for him,” Booher said, “After the game me and Julia Kelly tried to throw Gatorade on Dylan, but he put a stop to that.”
Dure was enthusiastic about contributing to her coach’s achievement.
“It was a honor to be part of the team that helped Dylan reach the goal of 100 wins,” Dure said. “As a coach, Dylan challenges me to be a better player every time I take the field.”
The game ended with a score that, despite being astonishingly high for the sport of soccer, is a typical representation of the Tigers’ offensive capability. The women proved that despite one unfortunate pre-season loss, the team has not lost the luster with which they have shined year after year. With a score of 6-0 over Aurora and 5-0 against Concordia University on Monday night, the message was sent loud and clear: Trinity women’s soccer is back and they are force with which to be reckoned.
You can see the 5th-ranked Tigers take on the University of Dallas this Friday, Sept. 15, at 6 p.m. at Paul McGinlay Soccer Field, or live on the Tiger Network.